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Linux Magazine: Averting Disaster: Undeleting Files

Oct 14, 2000, 21:13 (14 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jason Perlow)

"Have you ever had the horrible sinking feeling that you just deleted a file you didn't want to delete? As fate would have it, it's usually something incredibly important to you, like your entire year's worth of personal financial data that you forgot to back up, or in my case, my last three months of On The Desktop columns."

"For most of the PC world, this typically isn't a major tragedy. Under Microsoft Windows or Mac OS, users are lucky enough to have such things as the "Recycle Bin" and the "Trash Can," where the OS keeps track of all the files you've deleted, so you can happily retrieve them before permanently wiping them from your hard disk."

"Unfortunately, under Linux it's not so simple. When you delete a file on the Linux ext2 file system, be it in KDE, Gnome, or via the command line using the rm command, the file is gone -- and there's no friendly trash can from which to pull it. However, the file might not be gone permanently. The actual process of deletion doesn't exactly erase the file from the disk, all it does is to unallocate that file's inode, which is essentially an index pointer for that file."

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